Archive for September, 2010

Day Three – Avignon Brocante

September 29, 2010

There was shopping.

And music.

And textiles.

And drinking.

And people watching.

Then we went to Isle sur la Sorge, and did and saw more of the blissful same!  Paradise times two.


Day Two – Provence Vintage Buying Tour

September 27, 2010


Our day started with a lovely breakfast at the home of a charming French brocanteuse (antique dealer), Colette (second from the right).  It was a heavenly setting – delicious food – and an absolutely enchanting hostess.  We fell in love with her immediately!

Colette has a little shop in her house.

So many wonderful things, and her prices were most reasonable.

Lucky us, we got to visit inside her home as well.

Her decorating style is divine.

An amazing hat pin collection.

Her collections are stunning.

That is a tiptop assortment of cafe au lait bowls.

Before we knew it, three hours in Colette’s company had flown by.  It was really hard to say good bye to our new friend.  But we consoled ourselves at a consignment shop in Aix that Jill had taken to me before.  More great finds at dirt cheap prices. 

It was time for lunch.

We appreciated this table setting detail.

For our last stop of the day, Jill took us to another of her secret addresses.

The best blue.

Treasures and chickens.

I had learned on my previous trip to this junkers’ wonderland to make a pile of whatever I wanted, and I would be told a price by this sweetie pie that would be a good deal.  Jill in her cute shoes was standing by to do any translating for us.  And indeed, we all received great prices. 

By then I was figuring out how to take videos on our new camera.  Now to figure out how to upload them for the next post!

Day One – Provence Vintage Buying Tour

September 24, 2010


Here was our predicament for the six days we spent looking for treasures in Provence – we could afford nearly every wonderful thing, but so many things were not going to fit in our suitcases.  This twin metal bed frame was 30 euros – around $39!

Here’s another shot to help you appreciate the bed lust we were feeling.  And you don’t even want to know how cheap those armoires were priced.

But back to the beginning of this day.  The Good Husband and I met three members of our group at the train station in Paris.  We shared a speedy three hour train ride on the TGV straight to Aix.  There we hooked up with Jill Mitchell of Le Trip, our wonderful tour guide, and the fourth member of my travel group.  Jill had a deluxe van waiting for us, loaded us up, and we headed to Marseille.

I had always wanted to visit an Emmaus store.  I would liken them to our Goodwills. 

The aqua, enamel table was 15 euros. 

You gotta love a place that hangs pot lids on its’ fence and crafts whimsical creations from found objects.  It is part of the universal junkers’ language that needs no translation.  You either get it or you don’t.

Here’s a shot of our dream team of travelmates – Sandra, Cathy G, Cathy C and Judy (left to right).

After checking into our chaming hotel in Aix, and a little time to get settled into our rooms, it was time for a stroll to dinner.

I went for comfort food and savored my cheesey potato dish.  We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, and headed back to our hotel to rest up for Day Two.  Each day was memorable and special.  But our Day Two was off the charts fabulous!  Please stay tuned for those stories, and my first efforts using the video thing on our new camera.

Paris in 48 Hours

September 22, 2010

Paris in September = magnificent!  We had two days before the Provence Vintage Buying Tour began, so we hit the streets as soon as we could get out of our taxi and park our bags in the lobby of our hotel in the Marais district.  This was the first picture I took.  Raoul looks darn good after a 10 hour flight.  Seeing outfits like this in shop after shop, kept my energy flowing.

One of our first stops was to replenish my tea supply at Mariage Freres – a kilo of two of my favorites.

Another priority stop was Free’P’Star – a wonderful vintage and second-hand clothing store in the Marais.  I did well in the 3 euros per item bin, as well as the scarves for one euro each.  I even went crazy and bought a lovely, hand-embroidered nightgown for a whopping 10 euros. 

We walked and walked.

And ate at places like this and people watched.

I was so flattered that shop keepers greeted and spoke to me in French this time around.  I am determined to return the favor when we return for our next visit. 

As much as I adore Provence, I truly love Paris as well!

Drinks at the Brocante with Corey Amaro

September 20, 2010

Following the BEST SHOPPING DAY OF MY LIFE (more to come on that very soon) at a French brocante in Provence, we were given the gift to have drinks with one of my girl crushes – Corey Amaro of Tongue in Cheek!  I have to say our group (left to right:  Judy, Beth, Cathy G, Jill, Corey, Cathy C and Sandra) looks really good in this shot taken in the late afternoon.  Corey had been shopping since 6 a.m. (hard core), and we had been shopping our hearts out by 9 a.m. (still training to be hard core).

Jill Mitchell (wearing the stylish hat) of Le Trip was our tour guide extraordinaire, and waited to share this surprise with our group until this extra special day.

Corey was charming and gracious beyond belief. 

Jill and Corey had first met at a mutual friend’s party.  There was an animated discussion about what they wore at that soiree.

It also amazed me how Corey kept herself so fresh and clean looking after nine hours of shopping a dusty brocante.

We were enchanted.  And absolutely a flutter, when Corey invited us to visit her in the future!

Plus it was pretty hard to keep all eyes on Corey with these two good lookers, Corey’s French Husband, and The Good Husband, my Raoul, at the other end of our table.

Simply put, it was an amazing day!  And we had a week full of them.

Beth’s Money Shot in Provence

September 16, 2010


I have a ton of photos of our recent fantastic Vintage Buying Tour of Provence to share with you.  I decided to start off by posting my money shot.  Here we have the famous French Husband of Corey Amaro, well known for her hugely popular Tongue In Cheek blog, on the left.  Sitting with him is my husband, Raoul, now known as The Good Husband.  He was given this name by our fabulous group of fellow travelers.  These two good lookers had a great time sharing stories about women they know and their penchants for buying and collecting too much stuff. 

While they were having a good visit, our group was having an afternoon drink with Corey herself!  On Monday, I’ll share those pictures, and how this surprise visit took place.  Plus oodles of other pictures of this glorious trip will be coming your way.

Summer Memory #5

September 15, 2010

I had fun wrapping this gift for my friend Judy’s summer birthday, with some colorful odds and ends from my ribbon stash.

Summer Memory #4

September 13, 2010

The door of temptation beckoned my friend Karalee on the Georgetown Garden Tour in July.

Summer Memory #3

September 10, 2010

These garden art flowers made from thrift store odds and ends looked so swell in Sue and John’s gorgeous garden!

Summer Memory #2

September 8, 2010

It was so worth it to be near the front of the line at the July 2nd Saturdayz Sale, because I was rewarded with this neato-torpedo bag hand-crafted by Bob of JohnBob Cool Junk!